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Bright Ideas 2020: Bring student climate activists together under one collective cause

Bright Ideas 2020: Bring student climate activists together under one collective cause


Emiliana Almanza Lopez (left) and Meg DiPoto

Bright Ideas are back! Leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and people who are doing interesting things share their bright ideas for 2020 with the Cap Times. Find them posted here throughout the week and in print on Jan. 8.

There were a bunch of different climate organizations working toward niche things. And we still need those people, but we wanted an overarching group or hub to communicate, share ideas and join together. There was this need for an overarching coalition to combine forces and create this big movement on campus, because we recognize that the university is starting to take action and hear us, but climate change is here and we need to act now.

Emiliana: In this next semester, I want to build a foundation for the movement. I have gained so much from participating in student activism. I want to be able to be a point of reference for someone else to be able to rise into their own leadership. That’s one of the most important things when you build a movement, to have a solid base of people you can give and take energy from, so that will leave something for the future students.

Meg: I really wasn’t involved with student activism; I like doing more behind the-scenes-work. I wish I had started earlier, so I just want students to feel comfortable using their voice and having a space. I’m hoping that this will be a platform for them to do that.

Emiliana: One goal is to grow in size, reaching students and organizations that are already involved in sustainability work. For me, it will be centering work around social justice as a climate action issue. Making sure that, while we do all this work, we also take the time to self-reflect and make sure that we’re coming from a good place. For January, it will be solidifying who we are as a people and a community.

—As told to Yvonne Kim

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